Autobiography of John Campbell

Autobiography of John Campbell

Submitted by Sharon M. Kouns

Campbell home


Semi Weekly Irontonion
November 15, 1907

In 1890, John CAMPBELL of Ironton, Ohio made the following

statement in regard to his life:


He lived on his father’s farm, between Ripley and Georgetown,

Brown County, Ohio from birth 1808 to 1880, when in August,

he commenced clerking in the store of his uncle, Wm. HUMPHREYS

in Ripley; continued there till May 1831, then his uncle sent

him with a store to Russellville, a neighboring town, where he

remained until 1832. He then engaged as clerk on the Steamer

“Banner”, running from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. On his second

trip, he announced in the cabin before some Iron men from the

Hanging Rock region, that he was open for engagement.


Andrew ELLISON and Robt. HAMILTON invited him to clerk for them

a Hanging Rock Region, so he stopped off there in March 1833.

The Hanging Rock Mill began in the building of “The Forge”, in

March 1833. The stockholders in The Forge were the same in the

Lawrence Furnace entitled “J. Riggs & Co.” tower; James Rodgers,

Andrew ELLISON, Robt. HAMILTON, Robt. Dyer BURGESS, Joseph RIGGS,

who subscribed, even amounts. Mr. CAMPBELL, had the privilege of

investing, but declined. He loaned J. Riggs & Co., $1500 in the

building of Lawrence Furnace. From March 1833 to August 1833, he

assisted at the books and helped superintend the men, in building

the Hanging Rock Forge.


Then he went to the site of Lawrence Furnace, called “Cranes Nest”,

and assisted in erecting the same, as Superintendent under Andrew

ELLISON, from August 1833 to January 1, 1835; then visited his home

in Brown County, Ohio for two months, til March 1835; then returning

to Hanging Rock and clerked at the “Landing” until June 1835; then he

went to Mt. Vernon Furnace as Manager, and managed until July 18, 1846.

Mr. CAMPBELL, that year, bought the residence of Andrew ELLISON from

his widow, Jane ELLISON and moved, remaining at Hanging Rock from

1846-Sept. 1850, when he removed to Ironton, where in December 1850,

he occupied his new Ironton residence. The foregoing were the only

occupations Mr. CAMPBELL ever engaged in up to 1850 and he never engaged

in manual labor after leaving his father’s farm.


Mr. ELLISON, uncle of Mr. CAMPBELL’S future wife, had managed at Mt.

Vernon Furnace from late in 1834 to Jun 1835, when he moved to Hanging Rock.

In 1838, he moved to Manchester, Ohio where he resided until his death about 1865.

The Andrew ELLISON homestead at Hanging Rock is what is now known as the Hempstead






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About Lawrence County, Ohio

Lawrence County, Ohio borders the Ohio River at the Southernmost part of the state. Six architecturally interesting bridges span the Ohio River, connecting Lawrence County with various locations in both Kentucky and West Virginia. Because of these bridges, metropolitan Ashland, KY and Huntington, WV are just minutes away from virtually anywhere in the county.

Lawrence County Ohio was organized December 20, 1816, the first Court of Common Pleas was organized March 4, 1817. In 2016, Lawrence County celebrated its Bicentennial… click here to view photos of the Grand Finale event.

The first election was held April 7, 1817, with Joseph Davidson, Joel Bowen, and David Spurlock elected county commissioners. Their first meeting was held Monday afternoon, April 21, 1817, at the home of Joseph Davidson in Burlington.

Lawrence County, Ohio was named after Capt. James Lawrence, a native of Burlington, NJ and a gallant naval officer of the War of 1812.

Lawrence County was home to 23 blast furnaces and was once the world leader in pig iron production.

The county seat is Ironton, where you will find our government offices, restaurants, museum, library, splash park, civic organizations, and is home of the famous Memorial Day Parade.

Check out what’s new in Lawrence County, with the Lawrence County Guide Book. 

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